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Tafton, Pa. Student, Politics POE, Receives Finnegan fellowship

(Posted May 13, 2012)

Derrick Magnotta, a sophomore from Tafton, Pa.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Derrick Magnotta, a sophomore studying politics at Juniata College from Tafton, Pa., recently received a Finnegan Fellowship from the James A. Finnegan Foundation, which will offer Magnotta a paid, 10-week internship this summer at the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

Magnotta attended the Governor's Luncheon in March at Gov. Tom Corbett's residence. Typically members of the governor's staff meet with each Finnegan Fellow to determine their interests. Each Fellow will be matched in an internship with an agency that reflects his or her individual interests.

Magnotta, the son of Anthony and Linda Magnotta, of Tafton, Pa., received the internship on the strength of an essay, letters of recommendation, college transcripts and extracurricular activities.

Magnotta has been immersed in politics on and off campus since his freshman year. He was recently elected as president of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Democrats, a statewide organization that provides programming, communication services and addresses specialized issues and constituencies through a caucus system. Last year, he served as membership director of the organization.

At the end of the summer, he will take part in the 2012 National Democratic Convention, held in Charlotte, N.C., as part of a program organized by Juniata and sponsored by The Washington Center. At the convention, he will attend sessions, serve a short internship and take part in educational seminars.

Magnotta will pursue a paid, 10-week internship this summer at the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

During the next academic year, 2012-2013, the Juniata student will spend the entire spring semester of his junior year working in Washington, D.C. as an intern with The Washington Center. This spring, Magnotta also presented his research project, "Politics of the U.S. Federal Debt," at Juniata's Liberal Arts Symposium held April 18.

Magnotta is incoming president of the Juniata Democrats student club and served as secretary of his class during his sophomore year. He also is president of the Model UN student club.

The James A. Finnegan Foundation was established in 1960 to honor the memory of James A. Finnegan, Secretary of Pennsylvania from 1955 to 1958. Finnegan fellowships have been awarded since 1960. Finnegan served under Pennsylvania Gov. George M. Leader. Prior to his service as Secretary, Finnegan was president of the Philadelphia City Council from 1951 to 1955.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.